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Safety Briefing No.72

    1. Exposure to Asbestos Containing Materials (16/04/2021)

    On 6th January 2021, an operative was installing temporary lighting in Lords Way Tunnel, near to Marylebone Station and whilst doing so, drilled into asbestos containing material (ACM).
    When ACM is disturbed, asbestos fibres can be released and if inhaled can cause ill health such as Asbestosis, Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma. In order to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos, it is imperative that the correct processes are followed to identify assets that contain (or presumed to contain) ACM and to suitably plan, organise and deliver the work.

    When planning the work, you must:

    • Check the Asbestos Risk Management System (ARMS) for the potential presence of ACMs.

    • Presume that asbestos is present where there is no survey data to show otherwise.

    • Communicate clearly the presence of ACMs to ALL involved in the planning and delivery of work.
      Ensure a safe system of work is in place.

    • Stop work immediately if asbestos is discovered, or thought to be present after work has started.

    2. Fire on tamping machine (28/04/2021)

    At 05:29 on 23rd April 2021, a Matissa B41 Tamper suffered a major engine compartment fire causing disruption to train services between Orpington and Sevenoaks. The line was blocked and an Emergency Switch Off (ESO) was implemented to enable the Fire Brigade to attend the scene. Thankfully there were no injuries as a result of this incident.

    Whilst it is too early to identify the exact cause of the fire there are some similarities to an engine compartment fire that occurred on another B41 Tamper around 3 years ago. The fire risk is not restricted to Matissa B41 Tampers, the potential exists for any item of rolling stock or On-Track Machine with an enclosed engine room.

    3. On track plant collision (03/05/2021)

    On the 2 May 2021 at around 07:00, the Machine Operator of a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) suffered injuries when the basket of the MEWP in which they were traveling was struck by the jib of a 360o crane RRV which had been travelling behind it.

    The Operator was trapped and had to be freed by emergency services, suffering injuries that are potentially life changing. The Controller was uninjured.

    Both the Operator and Controller who were travelling in the cab of the 360o crane RRV were uninjured. The collision occurred as the vehicles were travelling within an Engineering Worksite, to their off-tracking location.

    The incident is currently under investigation by the Principal Contractor, RAIB and ORR. A Safety Bulletin will be issued once further learning is identified.

    4. Contact with Overhead Line Equipment (14/05/2021)

    On the 14 May 2021 at 00:38, a technician working in a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) basket came into contact with live OLE. He suffered serious injuries and is now in hospital.

    The MEWP operator also sustained a minor injury requiring hospital treatment and has now been discharged.

    The team were undertaking routine planned OLE overhead line adjustments for the Central Rail Systems Alliance.

    BTP, ORR and formal industry investigations have started. We are co-operating with them.

    The investigations are on-going to establish the key facts but in the meantime all staff are reminded to:

    • Know and understand what your task is and how to keep yourself safe.

    • Have a clear understanding of the isolation safe working limits identified on the OLE permit/Form C for the work being undertaken.

    • The Test before Touch lifesaving rule requires that a test be witnessed or performed every time before touching OLE.

    • Retest if you move beyond any inline OLE feature, move to different track or work on a different conductor.

    • Use the guide to electrical lifesaving rules